Ways of Seeing Background

Ways of Seeing Background

Ways of Seeing is a novel that is an adaptation of a 1972 TV series of the same name, which was a response to Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation series. Civilisation presented Western art and culture from a more traditional perspective, criticizing the aesthetics of the images and their hidden ideologies.

John Berger, the author of Ways of Seeing, was an English painter, poet, novelist, and art critic. He had written a novel, G., which won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his work Ways of Seeing was an accompaniment to the TV series. His work Ways of Seeing was heavily influential on art language, affecting how one looks at paintings and other works of art.

The book consists of seven essays, four using words and images both, and three only employing images to convey his meaning. Because seeing comes before words, Berger’s unique structure of this work make the reader realize that seeing is the first sense to understand the connection between one and the world, while speaking only conveys that idea out loud.

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